Tomorrow, we will feature the best grand crus from Mongeard Mugneret. We take this chance to discuss the most “common” grand crus from Vosne Romanee and Vougeot that customers often see in the market. Note that not all grand crus are created equal; prudence is required to sort through and identify the one that’s truly worth it.
Richebourg - one of the best grand cru in Burgundy, along with names like Musigny, Chambertin, La Romanee, etc. A mere 8 hectare in total size, the largest owner is DRC (a sizable 3.5 hectare). The remaining goes to 10 other lucky (and capable) producers, including Leroy, Anne Gros, Jean Grivot, Meo-Camuzet, Mongeard Mugneret, etc. As Clive Coates, MW noted, the best Richebourg offers "an explosion of flavors: coffee and chocolate when young, violets when mature; all within a velvet-textured cornucopia of small black and red fruits".
Grands Echezeaux - slightly larger with 9.1 hectare in total size, the largest owner is again DRC with a 3.5 hectare. Mongeard Mugneret is the second largest owner with 1.4 hectare; with the remaining goes to 19 other domaines. Generally regarded as superior (and priced accordingly) to Echezeaux, Grand Echezeaux is a "richer, more structured wine with greater intensity and definition and a black fruit, gamey flavor".
Echezeaux - the most commonly seen grand cru from Vosne Romanee, given its size of ~38 hectare. Once again, DRC is the largest owner (4.7 hectare) and Mongeard Mugneret comes in second (2.5 hectare). The rest goes to a long list of 82 other producers. You see why it is very important to carefully select the right producer, as not every Echezeaux wine carries a truly grand cru quality. Echezeaux wines offer less of the concentration and finesse of the very best grand cru, and would appear "looser-knit" than Grands Echezeaux.
Clos de Vougeot - located in the Vougeot commune, the grand cru takes up even larger size of ~51 hectare, with 80 different proprietors. Similar to Echezeaux, meticulous selection is key when discovering the best ones from this grand cru. Largest owners include Chateau de la Tour, Meo-Camuzet, Louis Jadot, Leroy, Jean Grivot, etc. (Mongeard Mugneret only possesses a small size of 0.6 hectare here). In style, the wine is "plumber, lusher and spicier than Chambertin or La Tache, less firm, less intensively flavored and with less definition".
Next time, when you walk in to a wine store and see Echezeaux, Clos de Vougeot (and Corton actually) grand cru wines from some unknown producers, spend some time to study before you make any major commitment. There are winemakers out there who don’t mind simply exploiting the “fame” of these grand crus and give you lesser quality than what you pay for.
At our visit to the Domaine, we were thrilled by the dedication and resources committed by Mongeard Mugneret in crafting their wines. A hidden gem (priced accordingly in meantime), but rising very fast. Definitely worth a close look!